Fire Emblem: Three Houses Crosses Over With Tetris 99 For Next Maximus Cup Event

Nintendo has announced the first details for Tetris 99’s next Maximus Cup. The in-game competition kicks off next week, on August 23, and like last month’s Splatoon-themed event, it’ll be a collaboration with another major Nintendo Switch title, in this case Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

The sixth Maximus Cup will run in Europe until 8:59 AM CEST on August 27; North American details have not yet been confirmed, although these Maximus Cups are typically worldwide events. Like the aforementioned Splatoon crossover, this competition will be point-based; you’ll earn a number of points depending on how well you place each round, and if you can amass at least 100 by the time the competition ends, you’ll unlock an exclusive Fire Emblem: Three Houses theme in Tetris 99.

Tetris 99 is one of the exclusive perks you get with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. NSO members can download the game for free and play against 98 other players online in a battle royale-inspired competition to be the last one remaining. Nintendo recently released a paid Big Block DLC that can be purchased by all Switch owners and introduces two offline modes, but you’ll need to have an NSO subscription to take part in the game’s signature online mode.

NSO memberships run for US $4 / £3.49 / AU $6 for one month, US $8 / £7 / AU $12 for three months, and US $20 / £18 / AU $30 for one year. Nintendo also offers an annual Family Membership that costs US $35 / £31.49 / AU $55 and covers up to eight Nintendo Accounts across multiple Switch systems.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses, meanwhile, launched at the end of July and has proven to be a huge critical and commercial success. Not only did it receive a slate of positive reviews from critics, it was also the second best-selling game of July in the US and had the fastest first-month sales of any installment of the series in the region.

Nintendo is releasing several waves of DLC for Fire Emblem: Three Houses over the next few months, in addition to a free update that will add a new, more challenging difficulty setting. In the meantime, be sure to check out our spoiler-free essential tips and advice to help you get started in the game.

Apex Legends Dev Issues Mea Culpa For Iron Crown Cosmetics

Respawn, the studio behind Apex Legends, is admitting fault in the rollout of cosmetics for the Iron Crown limited-time event, and trying to set things right. In a statement posted on the EA Blog, Respawn project lead Drew McCoy explains what went wrong and how the studio intends to fix it.

In short, the Iron Crown event offered several new cosmetics that could only be obtained through Apex Packs purchased with real money. You could obtain a couple packs through play, but to get the full collection–and a special heirloom axe that’s only purchasable if you earned all the other items first–you would have to spend over $150.

“With the Iron Crown event we missed the mark when we broke our promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released,” McCoy said.

To address the issue, Respawn will be offering the twelve event-exclusive items into the store for 1,800 Apex Coins (roughly $18), the standard cost for a Legendary skin. That rollout will begin on August 20 and continue over the course of the week as more skins are added. The studio also promises that in future events, it will provide more ways to obtain items aside from Apex Packs. Previously the only way to obtain the skins was to buy Apex Packs for 700 Coins.

The blog goes on to state that Respawn recognizes it needs to be better at letting players know what to expect from its event structures. This event works differently than previous events like the Legendary Hunt, and McCoy says future events may be different still in other ways. He says this event has reminded the studio that it needs to be better at communicating what to expect from events as the studio tries new things.

“Our goal has not been to squeeze every last dime out of our players, and we have structured the game so that all players benefit from those who choose to spend money–events like Legendary Hunt or Iron Crown exist so that we can continue to invest in creating more free content for all players,” McCoy said. “This week has been a huge learning experience for us and we’re taking the lessons forward to continue bringing the best possible experience to all of you.”

The main draw of the Iron Crown event is the new limited-time Solos mode, which lets players compete just like the regular game while attempting to be the last single player standing. Apex Legends has been a team-based battle royale since launch, and Solos has been a heavily requested feature from the community. But like all Solos modes in traditional team-based games, some people have found to be forming alliances outside of the game and teaming up for a competitive advantage.

‘SUPERHOT Presents’, A New Indie Fund, Is Assisting With Two Very Interesting Australian Indie Games

SUPERHOT studio has announced ‘SUPERHOT Presents’, a new fund aimed at helping independent developers make and release small, unusual games. According to the announcement, the team wanted to assist in the creation of other people’s games, and to start off with they’ve signed on to assist with two games that are nothing like their own output. The games in question are the Frog Detective series, developed by Grace Bruxner and her new studio Worm Club, and Knuckle Sandwich, developed by Andrew Brophy. Both games are being developed in Australia.

So far one game has been released in the Frog Detective series, ‘The Haunted Island’. SUPERHOT studio has this to say of the game: “It’s simple. It’s perfect. We love how wholesome and warm and funny it is, we enjoy the game, we like the team, so we offered to help.” The trailer, below, should give you some idea of the game’s tone. A sequel, Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard, is currently in the works.

Knuckle Sandwich is developer Andrew Brophy’s RPG “about a boy looking for work in a new city,” styled after old Game Boy Advance titles. It’s a weird, distinctive title, and it features both a missing persons mystery and a cult, according to its Steam page. The game is, according to Brophy, reaching the final stages of development, although a release date has not yet been set.

SUPERHOT is not becoming a publisher, but instead wants to help indie developers who “just need some finishing (or starting) funds,” along with some mentoring and advice. Assistance will be offered by the four “businessy types” SUPERHOT studio currently employs, alongside the funds offered.

SUPERHOT studios is more famous for the game that the studio was named after. In his 8/10 review of the game back in 2016, Peter Brown praised the game’s storytelling: “while the core gameplay didn’t evolve drastically, the story that drives it did, taking me along for a ride that I never saw coming.

Fortnite Added The Controversial B.R.U.T.E. Mechs To Help Players Who Were Struggling To Earn Eliminations

A new post on Fortnite’s website, credited to ‘The Fortnite Team’, explains why the B.R.U.T.E. mechs were added to the game and the impact they’ve had so far.

The post acknowledges that the mechs have been controversial, but explains that they were added because one of the goals of Fortnite is “to bring players of all skill levels together to have a fun experience where anyone can win.” The random nature of the mechs, which could give any player a massive unexpected advantage, gives less-experienced players a greater chance of racking up eliminations, or even a Victory Royale. “Right now, we know there are players out there who have never had that opportunity,” the post says. They also want to provide “spectacle and entertainment”, which means trying new things and introducing interesting wrinkles.

The post also contains two charts, showing how many eliminations B.R.U.T.E. mechs are typically racking up during a match, both as a number and then as a percentage of total kills.

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These two charts show that the mechs, while significant, are not necessarily dominant in an average match of the game. “B.R.U.T.E. encounters should feel like a unique engagement and not be the dominant experience during a game,” the post says. The B.R.U.T.E. was adjusted slightly in update 10.10, and now has an aiming laser so other players can see where they are pointing. They’ve also been tweaked to spawn less often in competitive Arena modes, hence the much lower percentages we see in the charts above.

Fortnite’s tenth season is likely to run until early October.

Yooka-Laylee And The Impossible Lair Is Releasing In October

Playtonic has, in its own cheeky way, announced a release window for Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, the upcoming second game in the series.

The game will release in October, although a specific day within October has not been clarified. The news came via a video tweeted out by the official Playtonic Twitter account, along with the caption “Good things are coming in October…” In a follow-up tweet, the developer said that the music in the original video was from a new Grant Kirkhope track that will be released in full next week.

The new game, announced in June, is a 2.5D platformer created by many of the key talents who were behind the original Donkey Kong Country. It’ll mix platforming and puzzles, and a sidescrolling platforming sections with a 3D top-down overworld. If it’s anything like the original Yooka-Laylee, it’ll be full of retro throwbacks. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

In her 6/10 review of the original Yooka-Laylee, Kallie Plagge said that “despite attempts at modernizing the formula, its style of gameplay is still outdated, and it doesn’t stay challenging or interesting for long as a result.”

Sonic The Hedgehog Movie: Sega Europe President Thinks That Trying To Control Paramount Is “The Wrong Approach.”

Sega Europe president Gary Dale believes that, when it comes to movie adaptations of games, the studio should be allowed to do their thing without too much intervention from the game publisher.

Speaking to during E3, Dale spoke about the upcoming movie based on Sega’s famous blue blur, saying that the film is a collaborative process, and that making the best version of the film possible means acknowledging that each team involved has unique skills. “Obviously we have a very deep knowledge of the character and the brand. [Paramount] has a very deep knowledge of how to make movies. The trick is just to bring those two skillsets together to make the best film we can.”

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Back in May, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was delayed until February 2020 to give the filmmakers more time to work on Sonic’s design, which was met with ridicule when the first trailer debuted. Dale spoke to this too, asserting his trust in Paramount. “To be fair, Paramount has been open to listening to feedback from the community around Sonic, which of course has got such a tremendously loyal fanbase with people with very specific views of who Sonic is, how Sonic should behave, how Sonic should look.”

Dale stated that trying to control Paramount, and to try and assert their own vision too much, “would be the wrong approach”, even if Paramount needs to “take into account (their) views on Sonic” to craft the ideal Sonic movie. “I look at the success of game franchises in film and it’s very mixed,” he says. “The idea that games makers can control the process and create great movies… I don’t know if that’s true or not.”

It’s been a decent year for video game adaptations on the big screen, with Detective Pikachu earning solid reviews and lots of money, while this week’s The Angry Birds Movie 2 is currently reviewing better than any previous game based on a movie.

Halo Wars 2 Will Not Receive Further Updates Or Support For The Foreseeable Future

343 Industries has responded to a Halo Wars 2 petition with some potentially bad news for the game’s community.

The petition, signed by over 2300 fans, asks for several updates and improvements for the Halo RTS. Fan requests included a Steam release; new features, such as replays, a UI design for PC, and keyboard and mouse support for Xbox One; new content, including maps and skins; and various bug fixes, quality of life improvements and balance patches. 343 Industries has responded to this petition over on Halo Waypoint, and it sounds like these requests are not going to be fulfilled any time soon, as the studio does not have staff free to update or support Halo Wars 2 further.

“It is always awesome to see the passion of fans wanting to see change come to the games they love in a positive manner,” the post, from community support and engagement coordinator Tyler ‘Postums’ Davis reads. “As awesome as all of these requests are, and as much as we personally share these same desires, the unfortunate reality is that we currently are unable to commit to any future Halo Wars 2 continued development or support at this time.”

343 Publishing Team, the team that created Halo Wars 2, is currently porting Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC, and working on the Xbox One and PC versions of Halo: Reach. “With the large scope and immense amount of work surrounding MCC for PC, the resources that were previously focused on Halo Wars 2 have been pulled over to help support MCC and Halo: Reach development,” the post states. Davis says that while the team count potentially revisit the game in the future, it is unable to commit to any of these requests.

Halo Wars 2 joined Xbox Game Pass in February 2018 and remains available on the service. It has received 18 content updates since its release in 2017. In her 6/10 review of Halo Wars 2, reviews editor Kallie Plagge said that the game “carries forth enough of the series’ beloved elements to make any fan of Halo feel right at home at first, but not in the long run.”

Metro Series Author Dmitry Glukhovsky Is Working On A Sequel To Metro Exodus

There will be another Metro game, following on from this year’s Metro Exodus.

This news comes via an Instagram post from series author Dmitry Glukhovsky, who has confirmed that the series will continue. The post is direct and to the point: “The Metro gaming series will be continued. Working on the story”.

Metro 2033, the first game in the Metro series, was an adaptation of Glukhovsky’s book of the same name. Glukhovsky’s second Metro book, Metro 2034, doesn’t have a direct analog in the games, while third book Metro 2035 is, in an interesting twist, inspired by events from Metro: Last Light, the second Metro game.

Metro Exodus reviewed and sold well, so the series’ continuation is not unexpected news. In his 8/10 review, Michael Higham said that the game “embraces the sense of vulnerability and post-apocalyptic terror alongside impactful weapons used in refined combat and stealth scenarios.” Exodus still has DLC on the way as well, which will expand the game out with new playable characters.

Metro Exodus was one of several high-profile Epic Games Store exclusives when it launched, and reported that sales in the first few weeks were approximately double what they had been on Steam for the previous Metro game, Last Light.

An FCC Filing Points Towards A Wireless SNES Controller For Nintendo Switch

A new FCC filing has revealed an upcoming wireless SNES controller for Nintendo Switch, possibly hinting at plans to release Super Nintendo games for the system.

Resetera user Link83 discovered the new filing (which is required for the controller’s release in the US) after setting up an alert for any Nintendo FCC ID filings. Much of the documentation is confidential, but the accompanying image matches the SNES controller’s iconic shape, while the appearance of the “HAC” model number notates its potential as a Switch peripheral, since all other Switch hardware and accessories use the same model number.

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Nintendo released a similar NES controller for the Switch 12 months ago when NES games started appearing for subscribers to Nintendo Online. This new controller might signal the arrival of SNES games to the Switch’s virtual library, with an accompanying controller letting you relive the days of playing Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid with a familiar peripheral in-hand.

Nintendo hasn’t officially announced the controller in any capacity yet, but we’ll keep you updated on when they do. In the meantime, you can keep up to date on all Nintendo Switch news right here:

  • Nintendo Switch Lite: A New Model That Can’t Connect To TVs

  • New Green Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons Available For Pre-Order Now

  • That Adorable Disney Switch Is Available To Pre-Order–And Ships To The US And UK

  • Nintendo Switch Lite FAQ: Price, Hardware Differences, Release Date, Battery Life, Specs, And Colors

  • Nintendo Switch Lite: What We Know

  • The Switch Lite Is Officially Open For Pre-Order (US)